Starting the Genre Challenge:
Read a fantasy romance
For this sub-genre, I picked up Nalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation, published in 2006. Not only had I never read Singh before, but I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book about changelings before either. What got me to decide to read it now is that our local independent book store, Politics and Prose, has started a romance book group this year and this was the book they chose for September! Yay!
Slave to Sensation was given a very positive review by AAR and the plotline was ably described here: https://allaboutromance.com/book-review/slave-to-sensation/
My own rating of the book would be slightly lower than the “A” the reviewer gave it. I too was fascinated by the world created by Singh, but I wanted to know more about the various beings that were trying to co-exist together. We learn the most about the evolution of the Psys – the beings who show no emotion and live mostly in their heads — and, to be honest, I was the most interested in them, although I’m not sure if that’s because they were more interesting or because we learned so much more about them. (I think it’s the former.) In fact, I wouldn’t mind a book that concentrated on how they developed. They reminded me a little of the Vulcans from Star Trek and our heroine put me in mind of Deanna Troi – the empath from The Next Generation Star Trek series. Our hero, Lucas, is a Changeling – the alpha of a group of leopards/panthers who shapeshift from human to cat form at will. Since they’re organized in family-type units or packs and appear to be closer to humans in terms of emotion and relationships, I think we’re supposed to relate to them more. But, I found the men, especially, to be too overbearing. They definitely put the “A” in Alpha! Humans also live in this world, but we learn almost nothing about how they relate to these two groups. For this reason, I felt this initial story was a bit incomplete. However, I understand there are a slew of additional books where things are fleshed out.
It’s fortunate for the Changelings that our heroine, Sascha, is a Empath (or emotion) Psy because I have no idea how any other type of Psy could handle a group of beings so “primal” in their emotions and need to mark their fellow pack mates so much. I can’t say I’d be too comfortable with it. ;-) There’s a part of me that wonders whether Sascha and Lucas’ relationship could last without one or the other majorly compromising themselves – let alone what their offspring would be like. I guess that’s something to find out in later books. Because this book left me with curiosity about this world I was leaning towards giving it an “A-“. However, since I also think it could’ve been fleshed out more to include humans,*and* the subplot involving the bad guy was so obvious – I mean, to me there was no doubt at all who was committing the murders – I would perhaps drop it to a “B+”.
The Cocktail Challenge – 10 down – complete
Alphabet Challenge – 10 down (A, B, C, G, H, J, K, M, P, & Q) – complete
Genre Challenge –1 down, 9 to go